We simply aren’t paperless, even if we want to be. I know a financial planner who scans everything and files it all electronically so it’s easily searchable. This requires diligent use of backups, not to mention firewalls. But when that’s done, there’s still the paper. It has to be shredded.
If you, like myself, are not as “electronic” as this woman is, there’s still the paper. We don’t shred it right after we get it, but it takes up space and becomes out of date. We can’t keep it forever, and that means we, too, need to shred. We have several choices, and it all boils down to volume. You can:
- — Purchase a shredder for our office. A good quality machine that can cross-cut shred (safer than single-cut) credit cards, CDs or a small stack of papers at a time will cost $75 and up. These machines can’t run for long without a cool-down, and the paper bin is messy to empty. But if your volume is small, it’s a reasonable solution.
- Use a document destruction service. This can cost as little as $10 per Bankers Box sized box if you take it to the service’s facility. Or you can pay additional for pickup. If you go to the facility, you can usually watch it being shredded, which can be reassuring if you are nervous about confidential information leaving your office. These services can be a big time-saver if you need to destroy a large amount of paper.
Shop around, at an office supply store for your own machine, or on the Web for “shredding service”.
[A tip of the hat to Entrepreneur magazine for its sidebar article, "Club Shred”, in their October 2006 print issue. Too bad they don’t put their print articles online so we can share links.]